POZ Review: Pet Symmetry – Two Songs About Cars. Two Songs With Long Titles.
This two-song release combining the joint efforts of Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.) and Erik Czaja and Marcus Nuccio (Dowsing) can lyrically and literally be described by the two song titles, which are long, detailed accounts of the exact subject matter of each. The first of the two, “A Detailed and Poetic Physical Threat to the Person Who Intentionally Vandalized my 1994 Dodge Intrepid Behind Kate’s Apartment” sounds like it could have been straight off IIOI’s Proper, due in large part to Evan Weiss’ highly distinct voice. But at the same time, the catchy hooks and instrumentals aren’t far off either (not saying this is a bad thing in any way, shape, or form.) It boasts one hell of a catchy chorus: ”Have you ever felt your perfect teeth make a connection with Chicago concrete?” that will stick in your head for days.
The second of the songs, “Please Don’t Tell My Father That I Used his 1996 Honda Accord to Destroy The Town of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania In 2002”, is again, about exactly what the title says. However, this one includes a very Front Bottoms-esque horn section that differentiates it quite a bit from sounding like anything else either of the two bands in Pet Symmetry’s lineup have done, and it’s quite perfect accompaniment to this song about being “over-privileged youth seeking something to do.” Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself to have been “over-privileged” in your younger years, you’ve probably taken your parents car, and destroyed a bunch of shit just because you can (high or not) and it’s a catchy ode to being young and bored that everyone can relate to.
POZ Review: The Used - Vulnerable II
“It’s safe to say that nothing lasts forever” is not only a line from the track “Moving On” off The Used’s latest album Vulnerable, but it also makes for a good mentality to have when delving into giving it a listen. Nothing will ever be what their self-titled album was, or even 2004’s In Love And Death, but this album is also certainly nothing short of a colossal improvement from their 2009 lemon, Artwork.
You can tell how strongly the Utah quartet feel about their comeback via the lyrics in tracks such as “Shine” (“It’s my time to shine/do it my way”), which may have a lot to do with the fact they seem to feel unchained after their break-up with former label Warner Bros. Although this album is somewhat repetitive — lyrically and instrumentally — it still just might pack enough of a punch to keep this band’s cult-like followers as well as the fair-weather listeners happy.
Opening track “I Come Alive” has the high-energy chaos and panicked lyrics that fans would expect from The Used to open the album on a good note, which continues into the second track “This Fire”, which has an even more brutal chorus featuring lead singer Bert McCracken’s clean but ruthless vocals.
The aforementioned track “Shine” has a fairly catchy chorus and a lot of potential, but close-up it’s almost lyrically elementary (as with many songs on this album) and in some ways seems like a lesser version of “The Taste of Ink.” The line “It’s always high or low, and almost never in between” seems to be a fitting description of not only this album, but also the band as a whole.
Songs like “Kiss it Goodbye” and “Hurt No One” contain a lot of hope between the two of them, with their aggressive, explosive instrumentals (excluding the last 30 seconds of the first of the two) and honest, throbbing lyrics that people have to come to love from The Used. However, the last track, “Together Burning Bright,” is a huge disappointment, especially as an endnote for this album. Musically, it seems to want to be reminiscent of the favored “Blue And Yellow”, but could never measure up. Especially not lyrically: it almost seems that it was written by a completely different band, given the lack of real depth.
POZ Review: Cheap Girls - My Roaring 20’s (Acoustic)
There isn’t a lot that can be said about the late 80’s/early 90’s nostalgia-clad Cheap Girls My Roaring 20’s acoustic release that hasn’t already been said about it’s widely-adored full length version that was released a little over three years ago, except for perhaps how awesome it is to have such a good album released in any version we can get, and maybe how this stripped-down sibling to the initial album brings out a whole new set of emotions.
The Lemonheads-esque full band version of this album feels like it was written acoustically in the first place, so listening to this version of the album feels like you’re hearing what the Michigan trio heard in their heads while writing it. While the original version had supercharged guitars that lightened up the melancholy lyrics and themes of most of the songs, this acoustic version peels it back to give you the feeling that the band seemed to have when writing about striving for girls’ attention, long-lost high school friends, and being lost in an intoxicated, early-20’s haze.
This seems especially true in songs like “Sunnyside” (“I’m stuck like a boat/frozen in a lake in a Michigan winter where the waves are late/and I’m hoping for you”) where the humming harmonica and longing acoustic guitar flawlessly accompany the lyrical pining for someone’s attention and affections.